January 1, 2017

Bravehearts’ local quartet has spring in their step

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Courtesy Jaime Flores Photography

Joe Caico was one of eight Bravehearts to represent Worcester in the Futures League all-star game.

In Worcester, where our red-stitched roots run as deep as any American city, it’s never too early to talk a little baseball.

Sure, snow’s been falling and the temperatures are dropping, but the Worcester Bravehearts already have their sights set squarely on another round of spring and summer nights at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field.

“Most people think it’s too early to talk about baseball, but some of our players get to work in late January or early February,” said Dave Peterson, general manager of the Bravehearts, who will begin their fourth season in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League on June 2. “So, talking about baseball [now] is exactly what we should be doing.”

The team recently announced 11 players from last season’s roster — which produced a regular-season best 37-18 record — are expected to return for 2017. That list includes six players from Massachusetts, five 2016 Futures League all-stars and four players from the Worcester area.

Dante Ricciardi of West Boylston, back for his third season with the Bravehearts, headlines the local quartet, along with fellow Worcester Academy alum Nick Barry of Grafton, former Holy Name star Joe Caico and Jack Riley of St. Peter-Marian and West Boylston.

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